FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT HEARD OR READ...HERE'S HOW IT WILL WORK
As almost everyone has heard or read, Mark Foley can now be called Former Congressman Mark Foley following his resignation Friday. The Republican from Fort Pierce decided to leave the House after being confronted with a series of sexually explicit chat and IM messages and e-mails that he wrote to congressional pages.
Too bad it wasn't Dateline NBC's Chris Hansen doing a To Catch A Predator-style sting on Foley. That would have been a sight to see.
The state GOP leadership is expected to gather as early as Monday to decide on a replacement candidate. The ballots for the November election have already been printed, so Foley's name will appear. Under Florida election law in a case such as this, when voters in the 16th District cast their ballots, a vote beside Foley's name will be counted as a vote for the replacement GOP candidate.
From the 2006->Ch0100->Section%20111#0100.111">Florida Statues 100.111 (4)(a):
In the event that death, resignation, withdrawal, removal, or any other cause or event should cause a party to have a vacancy in nomination which leaves no candidate for an office from such party, the Department of State shall notify the chair of the appropriate state, district, or county political party executive committee of such party; and, within 5 days, the chair shall call a meeting of his or her executive committee to consider designation of a nominee to fill the vacancy. The name of any person so designated shall be submitted to the Department of State within 7 days after notice to the chair in order that the person designated may have his or her name on the ballot of the ensuing general election. If the name of the new nominee is submitted after the certification of results of the preceding primary election, however, the ballots shall not be changed and the former party nominee's name will appear on the ballot. Any ballots cast for the former party nominee will be counted for the person designated by the political party to replace the former party nominee. If there is no opposition to the party nominee, the person designated by the political party to replace the former party nominee will be elected to office at the general election. For purposes of this paragraph, the term "district political party executive committee" means the members of the state executive committee of a political party from those counties comprising the area involving a district office.
The Palm Beach Post political blog Q is noting that based on conversations with area GOP activists, State Representative Joe Negron of Stuart seems to be the early front runner. Jupiter attorney Tom Rooney (of the Pittsburgh Steelers Rooneys) and City Councilman Hal Valence of Palm Beach Gardens (brief bio at the bottom of linked page) have voiced interest in the vacancy. Others receiving mention include State Representatives Gayle Harrell of Stuart, Paige Kreegel of Punta Gorda, and Carl Domino of Jupiter. However, Domino has told the Post that he will not likely seek the nomination.
And I noticed it didn't take long at all for Foley's congressional Web Page to be shut down. When you click on the link you are taken to a page set up by the Clerk of the House, whose office supervises the Washington and district congressional offices and staff in the case of a vacancy such as this.